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The Juno Cabinet

  • Object:

    Cabinet

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1878 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Talbert, Bruce James, born 1838 - died 1881 (designer)
    Jackson & Graham (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ebony, inlaid with boxwood, myrtle, mother-of-pearl and ivory, with bevelled mirrored glass panels and cast and chased bronze mounts

  • Museum number:

    W.18:1 to 6-1981

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 12 []

Object Type
Designers and manufacturers used their furniture shown at International Exhibitions to illustrate their skills in design. Such pieces combined exotic materials, such as mother-of-pearl and ivory, and excellent construction. This cabinet is typical of such exhibition furniture.

People
Bruce J. Talbert (1838-1881) was a successful commercial designer of metalwork, stained glass, wallpapers, textiles and furniture. He also published two books of designs for furniture, one of Gothic ideas in 1867, and another of Jacobean designs in 1867. The firm of Jackson & Graham, which made this cabinet, was established by Thomas Jackson and Peter Graham at 37 Oxford Street, London, in 1836. They expanded rapidly and their premises included both workshops and retail showrooms. The firm specialised in high quality furniture, using luxurious materials as seen in this cabinet.

Historical Associations
The International Exhibition held in Paris in 1878 offered Jackson & Graham the opportunity to display their finest products to a continental audience. and the firm won the Grand Prix d'Honneur for the British Section of the exhibition. The cabinet was bought by the Khedive of Egypt (the viceroy of Egypt during Turkish rule from 1867 to 1914) for £2,000.

Physical description

Cabinet veneered in ebony with marquetry panels employing exotic woods, ivory and mother of pearl.

Place of Origin

London (probably, made)

Date

1878 (made)

Artist/maker

Talbert, Bruce James, born 1838 - died 1881 (designer)
Jackson & Graham (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Ebony, inlaid with boxwood, myrtle, mother-of-pearl and ivory, with bevelled mirrored glass panels and cast and chased bronze mounts

Dimensions

Height: 233.5 cm, Width: 212 cm, Depth: 54 cm

Object history note

This cabinet was shown by Jackson and Graham as the "Juno Cabinet" at the Paris International Exhibition of 1878, where it won the Grand Prix d'Honneur for the British Section and was purchased by the Khedive of Egypt (the viceroy of Egypt during Turkish rule from 1867 to 1914) for £2,000. The Khedive apparently commissioned a room en suite at a cost of £6,000, according to Talbert's obituary in a trade periodical, The Cabinet Maker, which also described the Juno cabinet as "showing the versatility of Talbert's genius, and his power to grasp Classicism with the same success as Gothic and Old English", The Cabinet Maker & Art Furnisher, vol. II, no.13, 1 July 1881, p.5.

Historical significance: The design for the Juno cabinet may have evolved from an earlier ebony and ivory cabinet illustrated in Talbert's second book, Examples of Ancient and Modern Furniture, Metal Work, Tapestries, Decorations &c.(London, 1876). This earlier cabinet was designed to match some Indo-portuguese chairs illustrated in Shaw's Ancient Furniture (London, 1836).

Descriptive line

Cabinet veneered in ebony with panels depicting the themes of the Judgement of Paris and the Trojan War in marquetry of exotic woods, ivory and mother of pearl. Designed by B.J. Talbert and made by Jackson and Graham. English, 1878.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Cabinet Maker & Art Furnisher. 1 July 1881. Vol. II, no.13. [Obituary]
Jervis, Simon. Charles, Bevan and Talbert. In: Susan M. Wright, ed. The Decorative Arts of the Victorian Period. London: Society of Antiquaries, 1989.
MacDonald, Sally. Gothic Forms Applied to Furniture: the early work of Bruce James Talbert. Furniture History. 1987. Vol. xxiii, pp.39-60.
Talbert, Bruce James. Examples of Ancient and Modern Furniture, Metalwork, Tapestries, Decorations &c. London, 1876.

Labels and date

CABINET
ENGLISH: 1878
Designed by B. J. Talbert (1838-1881)
Made by Jackson & Graham, London
Ebony inlaid with various woods and ivory

This cabinet was shown by Jackson and Graham as the "Juno Cabinet" at the Paris International Exhibition of 1878, where it won the Grand Prize and was bought by the Khedive of Egypt. Juno herself is depicted at the top of the cabinet with Venus and Minerva on either side. It was considered in 1878 to be the most important piece to have ever been designed by Talbert. [pre July 2001]

Production Note

Reason For Production: Exhibition

Materials

Ebony; Boxwood; Myrtle; Mahogany; Ivory; Mother of pearl; Bronze

Techniques

Carving; Turning; Marquetry; Inlay (process); Engraving (incising)

Categories

Furniture; Images Online; Furniture; British Galleries; Furniture; British Galleries; ELISE; Scotland

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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